maternal haunt
a visit to the hereafter
supernatural sounds
nocturnal offers
inner hell
welcome to my world





maternal haunt
Debbie Angelosanto

Vapor appears before my eyes
The scent of lavender permeates the air,
I feel you and sense your endless desire
To know, to feel, to once again
walk in the sun and feel the
Wind through your hair.

The sound of laughter makes you cry
A musical refrain fills you with pain.
In the distance the sound of horses hooves
Clomping, makes you remember;
It wasn’t so long ago that you
Clung to your love in a carriage

That was before you had your sons
Before you were married
Before you opened this inn,
It was the pride of the elite!
You loved it, it became you.

Then your husband died and
Soon after your son took his life.
You walked into a room and found
Him hanging, not understanding why,
Had you not loved him enough?

When you died you couldn’t leave,
You wouldn’t leave,
You couldn’t leave him behind.
In all his aloneness, all his despair
He is the sadness of this inn

And you are the warmth,
He is still with you, yet, you are alone.




a visit to the hereafter
Debbie angelosanto

Why? Why is this happening to me? Yes, I’ve always been intrigued by them, but never had the sight. I have always been glad I never did.

But now? Why now?

Why am I seeing my grandfather?  He’s been dead for decades. He is talking to someone, can’t remember his name. There they are sitting on a porch that I do not recognize, my grandfather Harry talking to some man I vaguely remember from my childhood. They can see me too, but they don’t care. Their conversation goes on without any acknowledgement to me whatsoever.

Does that mean I am dead too? How? Why?

Please no! I don’t want second sight and I DON’T want to be dead?

I hear my name called; I turn and see my husband. Then I must not be dead.

He takes my hand as I see other loved ones coming out of nowhere and walking towards me. I can see them. They are also ancestors I have only read about, and yet somehow, I know they are my blood. I have loved and lost so many of them. I miss them, but it is not my time. I know it is not my time.

My husband’s hand pulls me back.

I wake up from my death dream, knowing now that I have been given a gift I do not want.

I can see the world behind the vale.



supernatural sounds
Paul angelosanto

Tidal currents in the claw foot bathtub
Thin trails of fog on red velvet draped bed
What secrets does death know?
Outside the crumbling faded building;
a spider that knows your secret name is awaiting you
Opening her coffin that rainy night made your makeup
bleed black tears and she was still dead
and didn’t look like she was ever alive
His boss says something that makes his eye twitch
The decrepit wizard says something that makes his eye twitch
Sounds supernatural to me
Let your ghosts free



nocturnal offers
Paul Angelosanto

"So I bet you think you know how this story will end tonight,” Diane said in her dusky voice.

“Oh, I’m most sure that I don’t.”

“We met at a club, we’ve had a few drinks, and shamelessly danced for a few hours. Now its two thirty and we’re back at my place. You think we’re going to get it on.” Diane shook her long dark hair around her pale beautiful ageless face.

“Well, I’m fairly sure we’ll do it, but that’s not how the story will end.”

She almost smiled but managed to refrain. Diane hadn’t once shown her teeth all night. That was to be expected.










“So you think this will be more than one night of passion play?” When Diane spoke the last two words her tone was as deep in the gutter as her mind. Small green flecks in her funeral black eyes where hypnotic. You could almost see bats in them.

“It will be something more than that but exactly what remains to be seen.”

At that moment she lay bare her gleaming needle sharp fangs with a ghostly hiss.

“It was most likely you were a vampire. Albeit a very attractive one.”

“And what are you? You’re not human either, but you’re not one of us. What kind of thing are you?”

“I am a thing that destroys. An event that lets itself be held in this shape so that it can navigate through your dull pallid world. Mine is the true form of all things.”

“And what is that exactly?” Diane asked, but the slow rising terror in her eyes spoke words that said she knew precisely what she was conversing, but wouldn’t allow herself to face the grotesque truth.

“Come with me dearest Diane. It’s time.”

A fleshless hand extends to the vampire woman. Timidly she takes it in her own.

“What would have happened if I didn’t accept you?” A tear of souls rolled from her left eye.

“You would have had to wait another one - hundred years for me to return as you have in the past. Every one hundred years I visit your kind to offer my gift - if its wanted.”

Diane slowly shook her head. “I don’t remember but it doesn’t matter. This time I am ready, take me with you.”

Hours later the sun shined into Diane’s vacant home.

Inner Hell
Sandy Bernstein

I have yet to control the outside world
Or the world around me
Surrounding me
And the inner world;
The weakest of all

Here, light does not penetrate,
Only various shades of gray
And black slimy shadows,
Shadows that crawl deep inside
Scratching my brain
Like malformed demons
Who vaguely resemble human shape

They claw with their long sharp talons,
Tearing away flesh and bone,
Bloody bits of refuse
Falling at the wayside
In hunks of gore
As they attempt to gain control

Still nothing
No light can be seen
No shapes or sound
No motion
Or any semblance of normalcy
Can exist here,
Here on the fringe
Of the outside world.

No feelings
No breath
And no escape,
Only utter darkness
And a constant terror within
It tantalizes me,
Eats away at my very soul
Like a death plague
Long suffering
And never ending,
This inner hell
Consumes me
In its infernal rage;
Holding me hostage




welcome to my world
sandy bernstein

Callie’s fingers flew furiously over her laptop’s keyboard. She was on fire; her imagination soared bringing dozens of images to life.  Wizards, witches, trolls, and beasts all swirled in tornadic frenzy in her mind – and in the air. Loud cackles, moans and incantations could be heard in a fevered pitch of emotions as the images danced about her head. The young bride could not contain herself. She was letting lose. She had corked her creativity for too long, shutting off real and imaginary feelings for weeks. But it felt like years, ever since she married Dan. The man of her nightmares.

“Callie,” Dan screamed from the other side of the office door. “Are you at it again? I hear wind. I thought I forbade to write. You know what your imagination can do. It can destroy you. How many times have I warned you NOT to think? For God sake, stop writing.” His voice boomed above the din in the small office of which Callie had locked herself in.

“I – I. . . can’t,” she yelled back. “The Street Witch is finally having her revenge on the Grand Wizard of Zorre. I’m near the end,” she shouted. But her concentration was broken. The twister suddenly ceased in an angry hiss and the images fell, shattering like glass to the floor with a loud crash. Her mind went blank as her fingers froze.

“Shit,” she moaned. “So close.”

“Are you alright?” Dan yelled. “I heard a crash."

“Fine,” she snarled.

“Open the door.”

Reluctantly Callie got up and opened the door. Dan strode in as if he’d just gotten off a horse after riding into town like an outlaw.

The big man looked to the floor near the desk.

Callie turned and looked too. The images lay scattered like dead soldiers. When Dan fixed his eyes upon the magical mess it turned to dust and vanished.

“Why Callie? Why?” He asked. “I told you to give up your dreams of being an artist and a writer. You know what imagination can do. No good can come from it. It’s the devils work.” He braked, glancing at her small sketchpad on the desk. He stomped over, picked it up and quickly flipped through the pencil drawings of witches and wizards then tossed it to the floor. “We had an agreement,” he snapped, his unshaven face reddening. “You were to give it all up when we wed. The Church will not allow it and neither will I. This kind of reckless behavior only shows how immature you are. You need to get your head in the real world and focus on the work of the Church. We do not believe in things that . . .”

“Things that allow you to be who you truly are,” Callie spat and walked away. How she regretted letting her father dictate her future. What did she know at the ripe old age of seventeen? He had pulled her out of school in her senior year and forced to marry a much older man, a man of forty. A man of her father’s new found faith, something born of medieval beliefs and dark deeds. A new secret cult claiming to be as old as the world itself in all its archaic wisdom.

Dan grabbed her arm and jerked her to him. “Don’t you walk away while I’m talking to you young lady,” he growled, roughly pulling her close and kissing her hard.

She allowed it only because she did not want to suffer the consequences if she refused.

“That’s better,” he smiled. “Now be a good girl and delete everything you just wrote and give me your sketchpad. I’ll be back in a few minutes after I call your father and report your behavior to him. As a new Elder to the Church he’ll write you up on the punishment sheet for the whole congregation to see. And when I come back I will check to make sure you deleted your story. Later, you’ll fix me dinner and we'll go to bed, where you can be a real wife," he said with a sick grin. "Say in about an hour,” he said, looking at his watch. “Yes, I’ll be back in one hour. So you have plenty of time to wipe your computer clean of your evil writing and any images you added. The laptop is only for your duties as secretary to the Church meetings. Anything else will not be tolerated. Do you understand?” He asked sternly, leaning over her like the tower of doom.

“Yes,” Callie whispered, holding back the tears. “I will do as I am told. I’m sorry Dan. I will obey.”
“That’s better,” he grinned. And what a wicked grin it was. He retrieved the sketchbook from the floor. “I will throw this in the fireplace where it belongs. Remember,” he emphasized, “you have one hour. Make good use of the time,” he yelled and slammed the door.

Callie took a deep breath. Tears rolled down her cheeks. What have I gotten myself into? Why did I listen to my father? He went nuts after Mom died and joined a new religious group. Hell they don’t even have a name. They just refer to themselves as the Church.  Sounds like made up shit to me. Callie thought. What a bunch of hypocrites.

For a long time Callie sat at the desk, reading what she’d written. How could she destroy her creation? Writing and drawing were everything to her. Why her mother even encouraged her, though her father never did. He thought she should become a professional business person and work in an office. Or have lots of babies and stay home. Either way she was doomed. Everything was so black and white to him. Everything was so planned out. His life was a map from which he seldom strayed, until her mother’s unexpected illness.

Cancer had taken her early and Callie’s father was beside himself. He had never been a religious man, but cursed God every chance he got when his wife died. He was despondent for a very long time, until a neighbor told him he should get out more and took him to church. That’s when things changed.
Callie sniffed and looked at the time. She’d been sitting here feeling sorry for herself for more than thirty minutes. Dan would be back in no time. She had to get moving.

Reluctantly she closed the file she’d been working on and looked at her folders on the desktop. Her stories were hidden under titles with the Church’s agenda on it so at first glance Dan wouldn’t suspect anything. Callie deleted the September Meeting folder. It had her first drafts and outline for the World of Zorre. But the file was not permanently deleted. Not yet.

 She paused briefly before dragging more folders to the recycle bin. What was she doing? Those files contained various stories and artwork, things she’d worked on for years. Essentially her life’s work. Her salvation. Yet somehow her imagination had transformed itself into reality as she was writing. It all started when her mother was actively dying. But her drawings never did. They remained inert. Only her writing took on a life of its own outside her mind.

How was that even possible? She wondered as her index finger hovered above the mouse, about to empty the trash. One simple click would delete her work forever. Her eyes focused on the folder containing her latest efforts of Zorre. It was evolving into a series of short stories or perhaps a novel and she was nearing the end of the first installment. There would be more to come. The thought excited her. How could she abandon the project? There was so much more to write. Her characters demanded it. And she needed it. Callie needed her imagination like she needed to draw breath. Without it she would die. It was that simple. If she emptied the trash there would be no turning back. Dan would win. And she didn’t think he had a recovery program. No, he wouldn’t. She realized.

She waited, her finger poised lightly on the mouse about to send all her work to the grave. Then she felt a smile light up her face. Instead, she restored the most recent folder to her desktop and opened the files.
Make good use of the time, Dan had said.

“Oh, I will,” she uttered and began writing the finish.

The Street Witch had just cast a spell on the Grand Wizard who had betrayed her trust years before after mastering her spells. He had turned her into a slave while he ruled Zorre like an evil dictator. While enslaved the witch had befriended a crafty feline who transformed her into a magical Siamese cat, restoring all the witch’s powers. Like Callie the witch had stood by, helpless and afraid while others ruled her life.
No more, Callie thought as the wizard and the witch did battle.

In the grand hall small items began to fly around the castle’s vast chamber as the cat hissed out a series of incantations taking the Grand Wizard by surprise. The two struggled for control.

Just then Dan appeared in the doorway. Callie’s fingers raced over the keyboard with lightning speed.
“Stop! Stop it at once,” the big man yelled.

A Siamese cat stood at Callie’s feet. It looked up in stupefied horror as a cyclonic wind swirled about the desk, growing bigger, encompassing the desk and Callie.

“I can’t stop,” Callie screamed over the rushing wind. “Even if wanted to, I can’t.” She cried as the wind raged and the cat hissed.

“For God sake I demand you stop this nonsense at once Callie. I will haul your ass into the office of the Elders and dole out a heavy punishment, for which I will not be responsible. . .” he growled, inching closer.
The cyclone swirled, faster and faster, growing larger and darker with a chilling unnatural cadence, like a demonic run- a- way train. Callie continued to type. She could not stop.

Dan walked to the edge of the twister, crying out as it started to pull him in.

Callie heard the ear popping sound as he was sucked into its preternatural grasp. He screamed bloody murder and cursed her as he got caught up in the wild winds as it tossed him about like a dead left. Faster and faster the tornado spun like a frenetic top until it finally ceased with a loud boooom! 

The cat, who remained at Callie’s feet let out a loud guttural hisssss. . . .

It grinned as Dan fell like a stone, hitting his head hard, leaving him barely conscious as he reached out to his teenage bride.

“Callie,” he whimpered. “My head is splitting. “Make it stop. I beg you. Stop writing.”

“I have,” Callie said, typing the last few words. “My story is done. It has an ending and so does your reign of terror.”

“You will be so. . .sorry,” he whispered, reaching out his hand to her. St. . .op. . .”

“Welcome to my world,” Callie hissed, getting up.

The cat winked then vanished along with Dan, though he could still be heard from the echoes of her imagination as he struggled to be free.


Sheila Foley

Stand in the light
No cross to bear
Cast your large shadow
Over the square 

While a spectral carriage
Not so blest
Bears anxious souls
Unwilling to rest